About Neuroscience, whorehouses and advertising

When I worked in advertising in the 1970s, a popular joke was: “Don’t tell my mother I work in advertising; she thinks I’m a piano player in a whorehouse.”With some of the claims made about the way the human brain makes decisions that are popularised in the media in the name of neuro-marketing, it appears possible that the reputation of marketing might easily decline to what it was in those days.The 1970s was an era when The Hidden Persuaders by Vance Packard was popular. There was a paranoid belief that advertisers were using subliminal persuasion techniques to make consumers buy things they don’t need. This was against a background where brainwashing was a popular topic during the Cold War. Freud’s claim that people were not even aware of their desires…


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